Reds own worst record in baseball after six losses in a row

It’s second 2-8 start in last four seasons

The question Cincinnati Reds President Phil Castellini posed to Reds fans last week was, “Where are you going to go?”

If the question had been posed that day to the Reds themselves, the answer would have been, “Straight to the bottom of the standings.” That’s where they were Sunday after their sixth straight loss. Their 2-8 record was not only the worst in the National League Central Division but the worst in all of baseball.

This is the second time in manager David Bell’s four seasons the Reds have won twice in their first 10 games. One more loss would make it their worst start since 2018 when they opened with a 2-14 record.

The Cleveland Guardians (4-5) swept the Reds in two games at Great American Ball Park after Castellini stole the headlines on Opening Day in Cincinnati with his comments about the frustration of the fans. Then the Reds traveled west to be swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2) in four games. The Reds will start a three-game series on the road against the San Diego Padres (6-5) on Monday.

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Here are six takeaways from the six-game losing streak:

1. The Reds have not held a lead in the six games: The Reds have lost the games by a combined margin of 43-15. They have faced deficits of 4-0, 6-0, 3-0, 3-0, 5-0 and 7-0 and have been outscored by 2.4 runs per game, the worst number in baseball.

2. The offense hasn’t produced: The Reds rank second-to-last in baseball with a .180 batting average. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks (.152) are worst. The Reds have the worst on-base percentage (.254).

Since collecting 10 hits in a 6-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves in the season opener, the Reds do not have more than seven hits in a game. They have not homered in their last three games and struck out a total of 27 times Saturday and Sunday.

Bell remains confident the offense will turn it around.

“These guys all have done it before,” Bell said Sunday, “and they all have track records.”

3. The pitching hasn’t been any better: The Reds rank last in the National League with a 5.57 ERA. The starters share most of the blame. They have the worst ERA (7.72) in baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates (6.63) and Texas Rangers (6.96) are the only other teams whose starters have ERAs worst than 6.00.

Hunter Greene has been a bright spot for the rotation. He has 4.35 ERA in two starts with 13 strikeouts. Tyler Mahle allowed one earned run in nine innings in his first two starts but then gave up seven earned runs in the fourth inning Sunday in a 9-1 loss to the Dodgers. His ERA climbed to 5.68.

4. Pitching help may be on the way: Luis Castillo threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session Friday and will throw another bullpen session Tuesday in San Diego as he works his way back from a right shoulder strain.

5. Kyle Farmer is the only batter off to a good start: The shortstop is hitting .333 (10 for 33) with five RBIs. He has three multi-hit games. He and first baseman Joey Votto, who’s hitting .118 (4 for 34) are the only players who have started all 10 games.

6. Nick Senzel’s absence has hurt: Senzel started the first five games but has not played since. The Reds placed him on the injured list Saturday because he was sick. Manager David Bell told reporters in Los Angeles Senzel had tested negative for COVID-19.

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